Eclectic Elements Thread Catcher

IMG_5583_wI took delivery of my new Pfaff Hobbylock 2.5 yesterday, and after I managed to work out how to rethread it, I of course had to have a go. After a couple of hours yesterday, and a couple more today, I’m officially loving it! I’ve learnt what not to do on it… and that it’s best to have the sewing machine out at the same time. Me being me, I decided to work on a project I’d had in mind for a while, namely to make a thread catcher for use next to the sewing machine. I didn’t like many I’d seen on the web, so I adapted various ideas and made my own. Continue reading

Sandy Toes Beach Hut Clock (for Jones Crafts)


This month I have the gorgeously summery ‘Sandy Toes’ collection from Kaisercraft to play with. I also got sent a Candy Box Crafts Bird Box Clock Kit to work with… So I combined them both to make this beach hut themed clock.

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Greeting Card Art Journal


I’m meant to be recording tutorial videos this week, but have been kindly handed a cold and laryngitis… so I’m catching up with some of the things that don’t need a voice to action! This is another project that has sat in the corner of the studio for most of the year that I decided to finish for my altered art demo day last week. I’ve upcycled various greeting cards that were saved from birthdays and Christmases into a functional and hard wearing art journal.

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Christmas Quilt 2014

I started this year’s Christmas Quilt earlier in the year, but it stalled, and as has started to become traditional, I spent a week in December finishing it off. I didn’t follow any particular pattern, being guided by the sizes of fabric pieces I had. After designing and cutting a stencil for the swirl and spending two days doing all the quilting on the calico border alone, I am so glad it’s finished. The overall quilt size is 56″ x  71″ (142cm x 180cm). The centre blocks are from fat quarters, with the borders added and mitred (finally got the hang of that!). There’s approximately 1 km of sewing thread, with 400m of quilting (I know this as I used exactly one 400m reel of the variegated gold/brown thread!).

I’m looking forward to the arrival of my ‘what do I get a man who has just about everything’ Christmas present, which after much thought is going to be …. an overlocker :)

I’m also going to be hosting a sewing/stitching/quilting session in the studio on Wednesday afternoons in the new year, so keep an eye on my workshops page if you’re interested in joining the group.

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Artist’s Palette Assemblage



This project started several years ago as an impromptu challenge with another crafting artist – it’s had bits and pieces done to it in between other projects, but with my altered art demonstration day today at Coleman’s Craft Warehouse, it seemed the perfect time to get it finished and on display!

Made with a Tim Holtz Configurations box, a free wooden palette and various bits and bobs gleaned at pound shops I’ve tried to include both colour, texture and materials used by an artist. Now all I have to do is find somewhere to put it!


Altered Art Baccy Tin

I once smoked cigars, back when I had money to burn. Cigar boxes are great for altering. Then came the career change and I switched to an occasional pipe, and no longer were boxes in ready supply. Instead I have an increasing pile of round tobacco tins, as I was sure I would find a use for them (other than hoarding screws in them that is). Well yesterday I had a spark of inspiration (I blame the new medication) and I’ve spent some time using skills with a piercing saw that I picked up at college. A pierced celtic knot allows the contained pot-pourri pong to escape and gives tantalising glimpses of the bits ‘n’ bobs  included. Perfect piece of pungent upcycling!

Top tips:

  • Find stencil patterns to adapt – that way you know whole chunks you wanted to keep won’t suddenly fall into the bin
  • Remove all labels and adhesive from the tin before you start cutting
  • Use a decent piercing saw and a blade with high number of teeth per inch for a smooth cut – change regularly even if you don’t manage to break the blade
  • Use a jeweller’s bench peg to work on as it’s so much safer and easier
  • Regularly clean your cutting surface of the metal burrs – I didn’t at the start and that’s what has sanded off the gold around the edge
  • Mark the cutting lines on the inside of the lid and cut upside down as well – this reduces the bounce of the metal as you can hold it closer to the bench peg
  • Work from the middle out to help keep everything as rigid as possible
  • If you need to flatten out the final piercing, hit with a flat hammer onto a flat surface a couple of times.

A reason to smile (for Jones Crafts)

I’ve managed to eke out the remainder of my papers left over from my desktop calendar project using the Hello Today collection from Kaisercraft to make a 12×12″ layout:

IMG_5520_wThe smiles are all from the internet, but could just as easily be friends and family. I’ve printed them in black and white and cut them as a circle 4.6cm diameter: initially I cut out the hexagons to make a frame and stuck the prints behind. Then when I added the hexagon white frames (e-cut) I realised there was no need to do the cutting and masking! That said, there are a couple of the hexagon cut outs mounted onto foam pads and stuck over others to give some depth to the layout. Add some of the ribbon embellishments and the sentiment matted onto white and black card and you’re done.

Sheets used: Everyday / Current / Nowadays